Monday, March 20, 2023

Who's Actually on First?

I have a family member whose birthday is tomorrow (Tuesday, 3/21), and for a second there, I thought I had the perfect present lined up. Who wouldn’t love to see a crooked sack of shit like TFG get arrested, probably on national television, to celebrate a birthday? It would have been perfect if the moment wasn’t so fleeting.

In the time it took me to think, “Hey, maybe his lawyers were told to get prepared,” the next thought was, “Wait, am I seriously going to believe a single thing this guy says? If this guy ever tells the truth, it’s purely by accident.”

Since there’s no official word about anything like that yet, the consensus seems to be that TFG basically pulled that date out of his ass. And I understand why.

If he really wants to trigger another protest, he can’t be vague. A call to such actions needs a deadline. You can’t say, “I need you guys to protest my forthcoming arrest, one of these days,” it’s got to be, “Hey, I need you to start some shit on Monday!

Not that I think there’s going to be anything impactful. If the MAGAs learned anything, it’s that TFG can’t (and won’t) protect them. If they do anything but yell and carry signs, there will be consequences. The law enforcement people won’t be asked to be punching bags this time, it’ll be ON. And they’ve seen how ever-present video gets turned into IDs, and that turns into court cases, jail time, and lost employment. Best to stay in town and shout at the TV from the local bar.

And speaking of noxious vapor, I just can’t wrap my head around all this “America First” nonsense. The MAGAs are basically against spending money to help anyone but Americans. No matter the situation, they want to pretend it’s not our problem. Or at least not their problem.

But like it or not, it’s still a global economy and things that happen outside our borders absolutely affect things within. Name one isolationist country that’s prospering, now or ever.

Not to mention, there are things like upholding basic decency, and the right not to have your cities reduced to rubble by invaders bent on conquest.

But my biggest beef with “America First” is that there is no meat behind the sizzle. How exactly would they want to spend the money that would otherwise be spent on foreign affairs?

Health care for all? Nope, that’s socialism.

Food assistance? Nope, lazy people should go to work (for whatever an employer deems them worthy of paying.)

Student debt relief? Nope, I still have to pay my car loan.

Infrastructure? Nope, they might build something in my backyard. Or worse, they might not. Republicans won’t vote for it, but they’ll be happy to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremonies in their states or districts.

Housing assistance? Nope, not in MY neighborhood.

Free phones and data plans? Nope, that’s a handout.

So no, nothing that will help the lives of lower and middle-class Americans. But…

Border security? Absolutely, we gotta keep the brown foreigners out.

Military? Absolutely, because spending what the next 12 nations in the world spend collectively is just not enough. Even though the money never seems to go for pay raises for soldiers, just more weapons systems, benefitting the giant defense contractors.

Tax cuts for the rich? Absolutely, because, well, they don’t know, but their elected officials sure do. They have to remain elected officials, don’t they, and the money saved from tax cuts can slide right into their re-election funds.

So basically, “America First” means “We want to stop spending money on foreigners so we can give it to the white, male, Americans who already have more than anyone else.”

Headline News

No big surprise here. When was the last time Republicans accepted blame for anything, ever? Do you want to see a complete meltdown? Watch a Republican order a meal at a Republican fundraiser that uses Republican chefs and wait staff, and have it get screwed up. The pathway to lay blame would become an infinity loop. They’d probably have to go out and drag a Mexican inside, so they could blame him. And Biden, by proxy, for letting in the Mexican.

The excuse I keep seeing is that the bank was more concerned with being “woke” than running a sound bank… as if the two are mutually exclusive. They trotted out some hiring parameters used for the bank’s Board of Directors, to prove their point. The problem is that The Board is not really a hands-on group. Any clown can sit on a Board. They deal with big-picture issues, not the day-to-day wheeling and dealing of the other executives, the kind of which put Silicon Valley Bank out of business. It’s just the mundane making risky high-stakes bets with other people’s money, the kind of thing that was outlawed by Dodd-Frank, portions of which were then overturned by the Trump Administration.

“Woke” is now the go-to boogieman for the GOP. Whatever goes wrong, they cry “Woke.” The fact that they won’t define it makes it that much more effective because then everyone can slip in whatever resonates in their own head.

In MY head, it just means that one recognizes that there is racism out there, and sometimes it’s baked into “the system.”

I can give you a concrete example… Do you know what “red-lining” is? It’s an outlawed practice that banks and lending institutions used, wherein they’d draw a “red line” around poor areas of town where they did not want to make loans. They wouldn’t send mailers to that location, advertise, or approve any loan applications that originated there. This happened, and then it was banned. Lending institutions are now required to accept applications from any geographical area within their operating area.

I’m not saying there aren’t other ways to keep defaults and delinquency low, but they are universally applied, rather than restricted to any single area.

This was racism, built into the banking system. Stone cold fact. If it didn’t exist, it wouldn’t have required Congress to draft and pass a law to ban it. That was one, so it’s not beyond reason that there are more.

Of course McCarthy refused to go to Kyiv. He survived January 6th! That’s enough mortal peril for one man. Tourists can be dangerous!

I also think he knows if he went there and actually saw what was going on, he might feel obligated to do something about it, and that would go against his party’s line. (And probably result in an immediate recall vote.)

Ah, who am I kidding? He’d have to have a soul to be affected by such mass suffering, which spineless political automatons like him completely lack. Otherwise, he might realize that fiscal responsibility sometimes has to be put on hold when facing a humanitarian crisis of these proportions.

Ah yes, the time-worn trope that one has to be perfect oneself in order to address an imperfection. Typical Fox “News.” Also, note that the headline says that they were “all questioned” about jet use. People ask questions and that’s a headline? It’s not even a story unless the answers are somehow unusual. And who do you think is asking these questions? Fox, of course.

They ask questions and then tell the audience, “Hey, people are asking questions.”

Look, presidents and cabinet members cannot go traveling around via horse and buggy. They need fast, secure, transportation to carry out the nation’s business. It’s unfortunate but it’s the price of doing that business. It hardly invalidates efforts to rein in CO2 emissions and try to blunt the onrushing effects of climate change.

Although Biden did not do himself any favors by greenlighting the “Willow” project, which opens up some federal land in Alaska for oil drilling. If Fox were writing about that, their argument might have merit. But then drilling in Alaska is what they’ve wanted all along. And they’ll never actually give a Democrat credit for doing something, even if that “something” is exactly what they want. 


Bohemian said...

Clearly nobody came up with an Argument to support Nationalism... since, isolating one's Nation and being unable to conduct business with the rest of the World and have Global relationships that Work is a sure way to go down or remain unable to prosper. Most Americans don't even seem to acknowledge that the vast amount of Products they NEED and at a Cost they can Afford, aren't made in America and are in fact, often produced by Nations that we have a very Fragile relationship with at best... so Diplomacy, even with those who could be adversaries, benefits the supplier and the buyer. Besides, the Average American couldn't and wouldn't Produce at the level of the Chinese, East Indians and other Countries whose Exports most of the World relies upon. The Opposition says Woke as if it's a Bad Thing, well, what is the opposite of Woke... ASLEEP... drops the Mic.

bluzdude said...

These MAGAs can't see past the end of their own ignorance. You can't just pull your head inside the turtle shell (unless you're Mitch McConnell) and pretend you can live in there. There may have been a time when one could, back when America still manufactured the necessities of life, but those days are long gone.

If they want to change that, then they should support President Biden's new budget proposal, which penalizes companies that offshore their work. But that won't happen, purely because of Fox "News" megaphone and Team Politics.